Asian Journal of Comparative Politics | 2023
What are the long-term effects of authoritarian repression on political trust in post-democratization context? Using the Gwangju Massacre in South Korea as a case, this paper finds that indirect and direct experience of state-perpetrated violence of the critical-period cohort— who were aged 17–25 during the incident—can have long-term negative effects on trust levels towards the government. Difference-in-difference analysis of national survey data collected in 2008 and 2012 reveals that experience with violence has long-term negative consequences on government trust. Results are robust even when including significant covariates of institutional theories and cultural theories, such as interpersonal trust, evaluation of government performance, as well as satisfaction with the economy. Drawing from memory studies, this paper argues that the effects are due to collective memory formed during the critical period.
Asian Journal of Comparative Politics